ASHINGTON RFC finally started the new year with a visit from high flying Darlington.
After over six weeks off this was always going to be a tough game against opponents that have only lost only game all season and are expected to gain promotion at the end of the season.
Ashington had several key players missing, mostly from the back line, but welcomed back John Goose and Ben Butler for their first games of the season.
Unfortunately Darlington started the better and scored a try through their forwards after five minutes.
Ashington then raised their game and, without having to many try scoring opportunities, showed great attitude and determination in stopping Darlington from scoring any more points until after the half hour mark.
Darlington then scored two quick tries to lead 21-0 at half-time.
The half-time talk was for more of the same from the Ashington team, but unfortunately Darlington upped the ante and, as the home side began to run out of steam and with two injury forced replacements for the home side, the visitors back line ran in a succession of pacey tries.
Ashington kept going and were rewarded for their endeavour with two late tries of their own to finish the game 68-10.
Ashington were able to compete for 50 minutes with a really good Darlington outfit and if the team show that attitude in the upcoming games, this season will be a success and a good foundation to move forward.
Man of the match was Goose on his return to the Ashington first team for the first time in nearly two years.
This weekend Ashington at home to Stockton.